Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 65

I don't own Harry Potter. Please read and review

Chapter 65

Severus graded papers almost carelessly. Harry occupied his thoughts. The man noticed something strange about his son and godson. Of course, Harry and Draco were friends but they seemed to be closer ever since they came back from Yule break and that was almost three months. Ron and Granger were not alienated per se but Draco and Harry met at the library weekly without them and it was strange.

The potions' master knew certain things to be true about one Harry Snape. He was all Lily, the boy may look like him but he was Lily through and through. The same kindness, sense of justice and almost selfless personality. The boy's best friend was Ronald from the moment they were babies. He loved Dudley and Augustus like brothers but Ronald was his best friend, the confidante. Draco was also a good friend but not as close. Harry also cared deeply for Granger and Ginny. His son met Draco for something other than shared interest that much was clear. What was he up to?

He cut his musings short when Lily appeared by the door. "We have a meeting today. Hog's Head 7:00 PM. Professor McGonagall is staying back." She said as she entered their quarters.

"These meetings are beginning to be asinine. Fudge will not concede that there is a threat." Severus explained. Albus tried to reason with the Prime Minister to no avail. The meetings centered around taking precautions and infiltrating the ministry before Fudge became more paranoid.

"We have to go." She said and kissed him gently.

"Why did you fail Gus?" Lily frowned as she read the big "T"

Severus sighed and looked at the parchment. "Make it an E."

Lily shook her head, "This is O level material."

"What is on your head?" She asked as she sat on his lap.

"Harry. He's acting strangely." Severus then told her about the meetings with Draco.

"It is unlike him." Lily pondered and the brought a can of worms into his mind, "Draco has been asking about Malfoy."

Severus raised an eyebrow, "how so?"

"Narcissa commented it over tea last weekend. Draco wrote to her about wanting to know more about Malfoy. He asked her to keep it quiet as to not hurt Remus' feelings." Lily explained.

"He's never shown much interest in his father." Severus said a little intrigued by the information.

"To be fair. Draco did not know Malfoy. Remus is his father for all intent and purposes." Lily pointed out.

Severus did not comment more. Lucius saved his life; he'd been a dear friend. The man thought about a version of events where he died and another man raised Harry. Severus would have liked for Harry to remember him. Narcissa tried for Draco to understand that Lucius was his father but at the end of the day it was Remus whom the boy saw as a father figure.

He remembered when Remus wanted to change Draco's last name to Lupin. Narcissa stalled him for years but when Callista came along Remus was decided to change the boy's surname. Cissy then had to speak plainly. It broke her heart to hurt Remus but she refused to have Draco's last name altered. "He is a Malfoy. I will not do that to Lucius' memory." She finally said and the subject was dropped.

"I find it strange that those two are so close all of the sudden." Severus finished and thought that Lucius was the answer.

Lily sighed, "let him be." She said and took the papers from him. "You have afternoon class. I'll grade these."

Severus stood up and left for the classroom. It was his usual work and gripes with the dunderheads.

He had the third years for DADA the following date and noticed that Draco paired up with Blaise Zabini instead of his usual Nott. They did simple exercises recognizes some dangerous creatures that Remus insisted they should know about.

Severus remembered that the two boys were not on speaking terms since the incident where Mr. Zabini called Ms. Granger that horrible name. The boys however were on speaking terms once more.

Ron glared at Draco but looked away as soon as Harry whispered something. Severus observed the teenagers until the end of the lesson. He asked Draco to remain back with the excuse of speaking to him about a message from his father.

"Your father wanted to let you know that your sisters and Narcissa will stay in Grimmauld Place for another week." Severus said and looked into the boy's mind.

He was unguarded. The boy asked his mother about Lucius and the death eaters. Narcissa deflected there was no information on that end. Harry and Draco in the library talking about death eaters and dark marks. "My father said it was a memory. Do you think that it had to do with your father?" Draco wondered and looked into books. It was their little project.

Draco blinked and then left the classroom. Severus felt a headache come in. His son had seen him that night during the break. He wore the blasted cloak. Severus decided to stop this pet project at once. Draco and Harry wanted information and they would get it. The potion's master disapparated to London. Remus decided to rest there instead of Hogsmeade. Narcissa did not like the little town at all. She preferred London and her big house.

He rang the bell and waited for Kreacher to show him in. Lyra ran to him and hugged his legs.

"Uncle Sev." She yelled and grinned up at him.

Severus smiled and picked her up. He kissed her cheek. "My favorite girl." He said with a chuckle. Lyra hugged him. He was not ashamed to admit that Lyra was his favorite. Callie was a little lady and a daddy's girl. Oriana was a little princess too but those two girls had eyes for Remus only. Lyra however liked him. She sought his attention and wanted to talk to him. She was done with the mutt and loved him better.

"Daddy is sleeping and mummy is bathing Ana." She said and stayed perched on his arms. They walked up the stairs while Lyra chatted away about all that she learned with her mother.

"Sweetheart, go play with Callie. I have to see your dad." Lyra pouted but ran off.

"Remus." He entered the room and found his friend reading a book.

"Severus." He said with a smile.

"You should not have come. I was just about to disapparate to Hogsmeade." Remus replied and stumbled out of bed.

Severus, "it is not that. You don't have to come back tonight. I wanted to speak to you and Cissy about something. I'll wait for you in the drawing room.

Severus did not have to wait long, Narcissa entered the room. "Kreacher just told me. Forgive me, I was busy with Callie and Oriana."

"No trouble." He said and accepted a scotch from her.

Remus entered the room and sat by his wife. "You are intriguing us Severus."

The man nodded, "Draco and Harry are investigating death eaters."

Narcissa sighed, "he asked me about Lucius last week."

Remus frowned, "why did you not tell me?"

The woman rubbed her eyes, "I thought it would hurt you."

"I think; it has to do with Harry. He heard a conversation I had with Lily about death eaters."

Remus nodded, "Why does he want to know about Lucius all of the sudden?"

Narcissa frowned, "well, he was his father after all."

Severus felt uncomfortable when Remus intervened, "I am the father's he is always known."

"This is why I did not want to tell you about Draco. You get defensive about it all the time. Can Lucius at least have this. Let me tell Draco about him." Narcissa said carefully.

Severus stood up. "Let me know how you want to proceed with your son. I for one will tell mine about death eaters and what they did. You are well aware that our history books are not accurate."

He disapparated and walked back to the castle. Severus decided to not stall and speak with Harry at once. He entered his quarters and was glad that Lily was home. He told her about Draco and Harry. Lily immediately agreed that it was time for a talk.

"What do we tell him?" Lily asked him.

"We tell him about the Order, death eaters and the Gryffindor/Slytherin divide." Severus said firmly.

"What about the prophecy?" Lily asked fearfully.

"No, he's too young." Severus would not place that burden on his boy. It also did not matter any longer. The prophecy was flawed and it did not happen.

His wife nodded his head, "yes, I don't want him thinking about any of that."

"I will retrieve him." Severus walked out of the quarters and into Gryffindor tower. It happened that Percy was nearby with Gus.

"I'll see you tomorrow, seventh floor, don't forget your notes." Percy said.

"Mr. Weasley." He said as Gus kissed his boyfriend goodbye.

"Bye, Sev." Gus called out and waked towards the dungeons.

Severus frowned, "professor?" Percy asked.

"I need to enter the tower." Severus said impatiently.

"Of course." Percy said the password and entered the lion's den.

The common room was almost deserted, there were a few seventh years and some fifth years. NEWTS and OWLS. Harry, Ron and Granger were by one of the hearths.

"Mr. Snape, a word." Severus addressed his son.

"Yes, sir." Harry stood up and walked to him.

They walked out of the tower. "Why are we going to your quarters?"

"Your mother and I have to speak to you about something." Severus said quickly. "You are not in trouble."

Harry nodded and walked alongside him. They reached the quarters in no time.

Lily had tea for them. Severus asked Harry to seat down. "Your father and I think that you may have a few questions."

Harry looked confused, "About?"

Severus longed for a cig, "death eaters." There was no need for subterfuge.

Their son nodded, "I do. I was there when dad said the thing about the dark mark." Bravery, it was all Lily's doing.

"We know, and we would appreciate if you did not use the cloak inside the house to spy on us." Severus hated that thing.

"I was not spying." Harry said defensively.

"We would appreciate if you limited your use of the cloak." Lily continued.

Harry remained quiet, "we will tell you about the first war." Severus said, "we hope that this information calms your curiosity."

"Your father and I are active members of the Order of the Phoenix. This organization is dedicated to bring down Voldemort. Yes, all of the adults you know besides your grandpa and aunt are members." Lily began.

"The Order recruited us when we were out of school. There was a big attack the day we came back from Hogwarts. We lost classmates and friends that day. I was already a member when your father decided to join." Harry was attentive.

"You have to understand that it was rare to have a Slytherin in our ranks. Half of the order thought your father was a death eater in the making." Lily finished.

Severus took over, "Most, if not all my classmates were death eaters. Rosier, McNair, Crabbe, Goyle, Mulciber all of them. They were inducted when we were still in school. Death Eaters have a mark on their inner left forearm. Voldemort calls to them by touching that mark. A snake going through a skull. A mark would appear in the sky after a murder."

"Why did you say you had a mark on your arm? Were you one?" Harry asked quickly.

"Never, your father was never a death eater." Lily replied quickly. "They tried, oh how much they tried to induct him."

Severus remained quiet, "I was not, but Lucius was." He finally said.

Harry looked more relaxed, "you were talking about him, were you not?" It was amazing how quickly we tried to find alternative explanations to make ourselves feel better.

"I was. Lucius was my best friend, my first friend in Hogwarts. He protected me from bullies and helped me with things." Severus said openly.

His son shook his head, "but he was bad. Draco and I looked for him in books and the Daily Prophet's newspapers. He killed many people."

Severus thought about Draco and realized that it was unfair and a burden on the boy to have a father like Lucius. He hoped that Remus and Cissy let Draco know about him.

"Lucius made terrible mistakes. He did horrible things but he was my friend and he saved my life. You see, during the first war. He was ordered to kill me during battle. Lucius could not. He was decided to leave it all behind and escape with Cissy and Draco. He was ambushed by Bellatrix Lestrange, Cissy's sister. He was tortured son, but he managed to save me and his family. Cissy escaped with Draco on her arms." Severus finished.

Harry looked a little ashamed then, "Draco and I thought that he was mad and evil."

Lily shook her head. "He was not. He could not have been. I cannot say that I knew Lucius but he saved your father because he loved him like a brother. He certainly loved Cissy and Draco that much I know."

Severus looked at his son, "He was flawed and did terrible things son but he was my dearest friend. Now, I beg of you to stop looking into things that will only hurt Draco."

Harry nodded, "I am sorry. I never thought."

"I have to tell Draco now." He said carefully. "We tried to get information from Zabini since he is so foul.

Severus shook his head, "Now is not the time. You will speak to him tomorrow."

Harry looked disappointed, "Tell me more about the Order. What do you two do?"

"We gather information and recruit as much as we can. You know that Voldemort is back. Our priority is to have more people realize that and prepare them."

"When can we join?" Harry asked immediately.

"When you are of age." Lily replied swiftly. "I hope you don't have to." She added.

Harry asked more questions about death eaters and the first war. It was late when Severus escorted him back to Gryffindor tower.

The potion's master bumped into Remus on his way to the dungeons. "I just talked to him about Lucius." Remus said bitingly.

"No one will take him away from you." Severus reasoned.

His friend shook his head, "I don't know much of Lucius. He will come to you and his mother for tales about him. I cannot give him that. I told him that he saved your life and that he made sure his mother and him made it out of that mansion alive. I told him he was not evil. I hope that makes a difference."

"It does." Severus said.

"I hope we are not making a mistake." Remus said, "I don't want him to grow up worshipping a flawed man who endangered his wife and newborn son."

Severus shook his head, "He worships you. You are his father, let Lucius have stories told about him. He did not raise him. You did but Draco deserves to know that his biological father made mistakes but loved him deeply."

Remus nodded and went to his office. Severus felt less troubled that night. The boys would not continue with their fools' errand any longer.

It was a blessing that they stopped. Draco came to him three days later and asked about Lucius. What did he look like when he was young? What were his hobbies? Little questions that humanized a two dimensional character. He asked Cissy to tell him things and went back to talking to all his Gryffindor friends and Nott.

Severus enjoyed talking about Lucius to his son. Remus was still anxious about it but tried to mask his fears of being replaced as best as he could. Sirius thought it was a mistake to talk about Lucius but one look from Narcissa silenced him.

Things were back to normal or at least their new normal filled with clandestine meetings. Albus still did not convince Fudge to budge and see reason about Voldemort. The fact was that there were no strange happenings. All was calm. No one expected hell to break loose in the way that did.

It was after NEWTS week when the Daily Prophet reported what happened. A mass breakout in Azkaban. Mulciber, Travers, the three Lestranges, Rookwood and Dolohov were out. Severus could hear the murmurs in the Great Hall. He locked eyes with Albus who looked impassive.

They stood up at the same time and walked towards his office.

Albus walked quickly, "Have Narcissa and her children back to London immediately. She is not safe in Hogsmeade. Sirius will go with her." Albus barked. "Cornelius will have to understand now."

Severus disagreed. This was a mess, "we have to recruit much more now. It won't be long; Tom is gaining allies now." The older man said. "Percy and Augustus have to get into the ministry."

"They will. They are smart, although I do not think that Gus is suited for the auror life." Severus mused.

Albus stopped walking abruptly, "We need him there. Severus, we have to make sure that your brother understands his role."

Severus frowned, "well, that is the point. We do not know what he will be doing, since you have not deigned to explain."

The headmaster looked at him as if he were a simple child. "Augustus and Percy will be our eyes. Percy will shine in the Games department while Augustus will bring us information from the inside. Two faces on a perfect coin, everyone will suspect Percy because he's one of us but Augustus. He will be on the shadows. Let us not underestimate Percy either, he's hungry and smart as is his better half."

Severus would never comprehend Albus' Machiavellian mind. "Let is hope that you are correct."

"Go find Remus. I fear his time at Hogwarts has come to an end." Albus said. Severus nodded. They knew Remus could not stay at Hogwarts for more than one school year. The headmaster hinted at werewolf missions. It was time for Remus to infiltrate them. Narcissa would not like it.

He disapparated to Hogsmeade. Sirius barked at him. "Transform back. Your cousin has escaped." Sirius entered the house and became human once more.

He gave him the papers. "What are our orders?"

"Narcissa is to go back to Grimmauld Place. The Fidelio is once more in effect. Have Kreacher and Dobby re-affirm their alliance. They must ally themselves to the Lupins and the Lupins only. Bella could summon him." Severus said.

Lyra ran to him. "Uncle Sev!" She yelled and dashed to his legs.

Severus smiled and kissed her cheek, "my favorite girl. I want you to go get Callie and Ana. You have to be good girls for mummy and be seated."

Narcissa came into the living room after Lyra. "What's happened?"

"Bella escaped." Narcissa paled immediately.

"Get your things and go. Wait for Remus and only him. Do as Sirius says." He kissed her goodbye.

Severus was in a frenzy. He went to the castle and alerted Remus. "They are safe with Sirius and en route to London."

"The mission. I am to infiltrate the werewolves." Remus said quickly.

"You are." Severus said.

"I need to be useful." He said and looked determined.

"Cissy will not be happy." Severus said.

"She won't but we have to do our part." Remus finished and went to class.

Severus taught children who were distracted by the news. Neville was peaky all day. The potion's master put the pupils to complete extremely hard potions to distract them and to think himself. He was dying to receive news of an Order meeting.

He did not have to wait long. It was that night when they had their first meeting in full or almost in full. Minerva stayed at Hogwarts and Narcissa stayed in London. The rest were at the Three Broomsticks. They were not many, not as many as when the first war raged. There were noticeable absences. Alice, Diggle, Vance and Bones were not in attendance. There were younger people. Bill, Charlie, Augustus and Percy. Molly looked scared that Percy was there. Remus and Sirius were there as was Kingsley who looked older. Arthur and Hagrid sat by Alastor Moody. He greeted him with a handshake. Lily came through the door and kissed him. "I just came from Narcissa's."

Albus and Aberforth entered the pub at that moment. "We have to broaden our recruits. Bill and Charlie, we need you to alert more of the international communities. Cornelius refused to see reason and we have to act. He insists on hosting the World Cup and the Tri-Wizard Tournament."

Severus thought it had to be a joke. "Remus, I am afraid your post is no longer yours. Cornelius and his undersecretary believe you to be a danger because of your condition."

Remus nodded, "you will proceed with your assignment."

"Yes Sir, if I may please leave now." His friend said.

"As you wish. I will contact you with details." Albus said. Remus nodded and disapparated to his home.

"Alastor will be our new DADA teacher." Dumbledore rushed. The auror growled something.

"Percy will work for Ludo Bagman. He will be in charge of the World Cup and the Triwizard tournament." Albus said. "You know what you and Augustus have to do."

"We do." The both said at the same time.

"Molly, I need you to rotate guards to protect Narcissa and her children. Bellatrix will go after her." Molly nodded her assent.

"Arthur, I need you on research about muggle disappearances and anything out of the norm. Lily the same for you at St. Mungos. Kingsley, recruitment with your aurors and research as well."

"Sirius and Severus, I will explain your roles later." Dumbledore said enigmatically.

"Aberforth and Hagrid will be our eyes in Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest. The Order needs all of you now. It won't be long before things begin to happen. I urge you to use caution and be prepared." Dumbledore said carefully.

They were all dismissed. Sirius and Severus remained back. "The Shrieking Shack."

"I am going to the castle love" Lily kissed him and left.

Sirius and Severus followed the older man. "Sirius, you have to leave to Bulgaria tonight. I need you to find Igor Karkaroff and find on which side is he on. Follow him, no one must know."

"Severus will prepare you for you mission. Take him to your labs and give him the potions and documents."

"Yes, Sir." Sirius said as they walked to the tunnel.

"Severus, I need you to brief Sirius every week. We will also begin our work on Albania." Albus said.

Sirius looked ahead. "He really is back."

Albus nodded, "He is and this time he will stop at nothing."